As a teenager, Tiffany Fletcher knew that her mother, Vickie, had been brutally abused as a child. She knew that the abuse caused her mother’s severe mental and emotional instability, which brought painful complications for the entire family. But until a horrific car collision landed Vickie in the hospital, Tiffany didn’t know that there was a name for the turmoil gripping her home: Dissociative Identity Disorder, which produces multiple “personalities” in victims of profound trauma. It’s hard enough having a mother with one personal identity — Vickie had fifteen.
The true story of this complicated mother-daughter relationship unfolds in a weave of memory and emotion as Tiffany recounts the challenges of growing up in the care of a woman held hostage by her own shattered mind; a woman who inadvertently hurt the children she only wanted to love and protect; a woman whose premature death brought deep waves of loss, but also much-needed healing. Poetic, poignant, and heart-wrenchingly honest, this riveting narrative offers hope to victims of mental illness and their families and provides insight to readers unacquainted with this struggle. It invites compassion and inspires positive action in our most treasured relationships.
Unabridged audio book
I went into this book a bit reluctantly. I've been searching for a book that would really change my perspective and I was nervous to build my hopes up. I was amazed at how powerful this book was. I picked it up and could not put it down. You walk with Tiffany step by step as she remembers what it was like to grow up with her Mother. I ached for her, I cheered for her, I cried when she started to find healing. I was frustrated at her Mother, I felt sorry for her Mother, and by the end I too found a way to love her. Tiffany is honest and genuine as she shares her life as she grew up. For anyone seeking inspiration or a different way to look at life, or even a reminder to be grateful for the life we have, no matter its circumstance, this book is one to read.
Everyone's story about mental illness is a bit different, however, I found when reading this book that a lot of the same feelings and attitudes surround each individual story. This is a powerful book. It helped me to better recognize my own unhealthy attitudes and also helped me to view my mentally ill loved one in a more Christlike way. I so appreciate Ms Fletcher's courage in sharing her experience, and I am grateful that she did not sugar-coat her memories. She shared real and honest feelings, and it was motivating to see her attitudes (about her mother and about herself) transformed.
I went into this book thinking it would help me with my own struggles with a mentally ill mother. The reviews made it sound like I could really learn some great insight into how she came to love her mother.
I was very disappointed. Not that it was a bad book. It's great if you just want to hear a story about one woman's childhood. I just didn't feel it was too insightful as to how she came to love her mother and overcome her negative feelings towards her.
In fact, I felt that she didn't truly come to love her mother until her mother died.
Hence, this story did not help me in my own battles with mental illness.
Though I initially got somewhat lost in the back and forth in time format of the story, I became thoroughly engrossed in the various levels of struggles of the author and her family members in dealing with this situation. On level is the struggle to reconcile concepts such as "there is no temptation but what ye can bear" with a relative afflicted with mental illness caused by evil perpetrated by someone else. On another level are family members (especially children) trying to deal with an outside world that doesn't or doesn't want to understand the nature of their internal crisis. Then there are the struggles of individual family to not only cope with their situation but to try to understand in their own ways what is happening with their mother or wife. Finally, I was touched by the journey of faith of the author which led not only to acceptance but to forgiveness and, eventually to healing.
It touched my soul to read this revealing and heart wrenching story. The love and forgiveness born of this difficult childhood was amazing to me. I was deeply affected by the revelation that her mother was her savior and I will always look differently at this type of mental illness and its roots. Fantastic job Tiffany, thank you for your courage to tell this touching story.
I read this book and I loved it. Her experience was very relatable to my childhood even though I did not have anyone around me with this mental disorder. I could tell that this was written out of love. Thank you for opening my eyes to the world around me.
This book is truly compelling. I am sure even all those people with a perfect childhood can relate. The author does an excellent job of sharing the journey from hating her mother to forgiving and appreciating her. She strikes a surprisingly nice balance between objectivity and her anguish. I wish there were a few more stories of each personality coming out as I find it intriguing. However I understand the story is really about her relationship with her mom not just her mom's personalites. The author stops short of pontificating and leaves it up to the reader to feel the experiences and apply the lessons themselves.
I just finished reading this and I'm moved, simply moved. This book reaches beyond Tiffany, her family, and her Mother's life experiences. I am changed. I am amazed. I am even more determined to live this crazy thing called life. You and your family have all have redefined, for me, what is mean to love & to endure. Thank you, thank you so much.